Demand for organic cotton in the U.S. is growing, but imports continue to pick up the slack of inadequate domestic production. A new project led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research aims to turn the situation around by identifying the challenges and opportunities for U.S. organic cotton growers.
The study, Fostering Sustainable Organic Cotton Production in the U.S. Through Research and Outreach on Organic Regenerative Practices, is funded by a $3.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant. Researchers expect the study to help U.S. organic cotton producers determine how to improve yields, productivity, and sustainability in their existing fields and transition more acreage into organic production.
Organizers say, “We want to understand what their production challenges are, how they are managing them, what works and what doesn’t, and how their practices are impacting the soil and output long-term.” With no synthetic herbicides allowed, the project will identify other methods that might minimize the tillage needed for weed control.